Kleptomania is a serious disorder in which the kleptomaniac performs petty thefts in a compulsive way. Find out what symptoms identify it and why it occurs.
Many people tend to talk about kleptomania, although in one way or another it is a great unknown for most of them. Precisely for this reason, it is certainly common to hear jokes or stories related to this topic. But far from what you might think, kleptomania is an extremely serious problem that, for those who suffer from it, is little funny.
This is so, because some of the most important psychoanalytic interpretations of this problem associate this disorder with the unconscious need to recover losses that go back to childhood.
But what is kleptomania? What are its causes? What treatment can kleptomaniacs follow?
What is kleptomania?
Explained in a simple way, especially so that our readers can know what it is, we can indicate that it is a disorder that tends to be identified with an – unconscious – way of recovering some losses that we suffer during childhood. Basically it consists of a psychological disorder in which the person appropriates what is foreign to him, especially in a repetitive way.
No personal enrichment is pursued, or the harm and damage of that person from whom the kleptomaniac robs. Simply, the theft becomes the purpose of the act, itself.
It is at this point where kleptomania is classified as a disorder of the will, or as a lack of impulse control, which is easy to link it with other more frequent ills, such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa.
And it is that more and more specialists identify this type of behavior with an addiction, which is not desired to be carried out rationally, but which once it is carried out, causes a small momentary pleasure that tends to “hook”.
What are your causes?
Despite many scientific studies that have pursued the objective of investigating what are the causes that influence a person becoming kleptomania or not, the truth is that in reality the causes of kleptomania are not entirely clear.
However, it is believed that there is a hereditary factor, especially associated with impulse control disorders.
What is a kleptomaniac person like?
There are a series of characteristics that identify kleptomaniacs. Among the most prominent, we find:
- Carrying out thefts without prior planning.
- Repeatedly stealing objects that have no value or utility for the subject.
- A feeling of pressure that increases as you steal.
- Feeling of relief or relaxation after the theft.
- Guilt or depression since the person is aware that their activity is criminal.
As we can see, thefts are usually relatively small, in which, as we indicated, personal enrichment or damage to the individual who suffers said theft is not sought.
Treatment of kleptomania
The treatment for a kleptomaniac person, and that the psychotherapist provides to the patient, depends on the origin of said pathology, and what has caused its appearance (the main causes).
In any case, there are a series of therapies and medications that can help the person to calm the anxiety that the subject may experience at that time.